The evidence indicates that GRE scores predict graduate school success, general intelligence, and also that SAT scores predict later success in science. Here is further evidence, and here is yet further evidence.
You don’t have to think that “high GRE score fields” are better than “low GRE score fields.” Many of my friends, for instance, think string theory is intellectually bankrupt, despite many of its proponents being very, very smart. I don’t have an opinion on string theory per se, but my friends might be right, and in any case I would rather read books from cultural studies, a lower GRE score field.
If you wish to understand the relative strengths and pathologies of theoretical physics and cultural studies, you cannot do that without knowing that the former is a relatively high GRE score field (or the equivalent) and that the latter is a relatively low GRE score field (or the equivalent).
There are many top economists on Twitter, most of them Democrats, who would never ever utter a word about GRE scores in a blog post or on Twitter. Yet when on an admissions committee, they will ruthlessly enforce the strictest standards for math GRE scores without hesitation. Not only in top ten programs, but in top thirty programs and even further down the line in many cases. It is very, very hard to get into a top or even second-tier economics program without an absolutely stellar math GRE score, and yes that is enforced by the same humans who won’t talk about the issue.
Just in case you didn’t know that.
Personally, I feel it has gone too far in that direction, and economics has overinvested in one very particular kind of intelligence (I would myself put greater stress on the old GRE subject test scores for economics, thus selecting for those with an initial interest in the economy rather than in mathematics).
When I did graduate admissions for George Mason University, I very consciously moved away from an emphasis on GRE scores, and for the better. My first goal was simply to take in more students, and a more diverse group of students, and in fact many of the later top performers were originally “marginal” students by GRE standards. Looking back, many of our top GRE-scoring students have not done better than the peers, though they have done fine. For GMU these admission criteria are (in my view) more like the Rosen-Roback model than anything else, though I would readily grant Harvard and MIT are not in the same position.
If you are afraid to talk about GRE scores, you are afraid to talk about reality.